West Virginia will join Indiana, North Carolina and Ohio in hosting primary elections in states President Trump carried in 2016 – and it may be the most closely watched, thanks to outsider GOP Senate candidate Don Blankenship.
Blankenship, who has repeatedly targeted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell with hard hitting ads even though McConnell has nothing to do with this particular race, served a one-year prison sentence for conspiring to violate mine safety laws. Even so, he could still become the Republican nominee for Senate on Tuesday.
GOP operatives in D.C. are concerned Blankenship might have a hard time beating Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. in the fall, for the same reason Judge Roy Moore lost to Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., in December – too much baggage. This is why President Trump urged voters to “remember Alabama” and note vote for Blankenship but support Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va. or Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
Trump won W. Virginia by a huge margin over Hillary Clinton in 2016.